Field Trip Friday: The Chatwal Hotel

Two weeks ago OHNY staffers Jessica and Hae-In took a tour of the Chatwal Hotel, located in Midtown West with Emily Venugopal, Vice President at The Brandman Agency and Joel Freyberg, the hotel’s General Manager.

The Lambs Club restaurant

The Chatwal is located in a Stanford White-designed building originally opened in 1905 as the famous Lambs Club, whose members included Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, John Barrymore and other American theater legends. The building was expanded in 1915, doubling its size and creating a mirror image of the original. It was then restored and renovated by architect Thierry Despont, with a 1930’s Art Deco feel.

Lobby Reception desk

The 83-room hotel is named after Indian entrepreneur Sant-Singh Chatwal, father of hotelier Vikram Chatwal, and a fitness lounge, spa services, and meeting and banquet facilities can also be found on-site. The theme of the “Golden Age of Travel” is emphasized throughout the space, with many custom-designed luxuries.

Bar with Empire State light fixtures

Joel led the staff through the space, pointing out many of these details, as well as regaling the staff with the colorful biography of Stanford White, partner at architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White. White is known for designing the Washington Square Arch, Madison Square Garden and the New York Herald Building as well as summer homes for wealthy and prominent American families, including the Astors and Vanderbilts.

Stanford White suite

White was a very well known architect as well as a charmer and became involved with Evelyn Nesbit, a popular young actress at the time. Joel told us about their romance, the infamous red velvet swing and the evening of June 25, 1906, when Stanford White was shot and killed by Harry Kendall Thaw, whom Evelyn had eventually married, in a fit of jealous rage. Ironically, White was shot at the supper club theater on the roof of Madison Square Garden, which he designed. And it was the first time that a defense attorney invoked the plea of temporary insanity and won.

closet resembling a suitcase

Thus it comes as no surprise that the rooms are stocked with copies of American Eve, a book about about Evelyn Nesbit and Stanford White, as well as The Great Gatsby and a backgammon set. The closet also illustrates how the travel theme comes through — covered in leather, the design is inspired by a trunk or suitcase, with leather strap handles and a satisfying roominess.

In 1974, the building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks and Preservation Commission and we look forward to The Chatwal joining us for the 9th Annual OHNY Weekend, October 15 & 16, 2011!

The Chatwal
128 West 44th Street
New York, NY

Images courtesy of Phillip Ennis


4 Responses to “Field Trip Friday: The Chatwal Hotel”

  1. 1 BSimi 21 January 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for the post! Joel is a great guide of this amazing property.

  2. 2 adriana 21 January 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for highlighting this wonderful location!

  3. 3 ETat 23 January 2011 at 1:04 pm

    This is what I call a “witty design”!

    Thank you for this review

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